A couple of nights ago I made my way to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to take part in one of the ROH’s Insights events. Insights include open rehearsals, in-conversations, pre-performance talks and participatory workshops.
My event was a participatory singing workshop, the Big Sing Christmas Carols. It took place in the Clore Studio and was directed by conductor and orchestrator Lee Reynolds. Lee has had a long relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), has conducted recording sessions at all major London studios, performances at the Barbican, LSO St Luke’s and the Berlin Philharmonic. Next year he will be working with English National Opera (ENO) in touring performances of extracts fro Don Giovanni, Tosca, Partenope and The Mikado and more.
Our accompanist was Tim Anderson, conductor, pianist and opera coach. Tim studied at New College, Oxford, holding the Joan Conway Scholarship in performance studies as conductor and an instrumental scholarship as a pianist. After graduating in 2013 he was invited onto the music staff of Teatro Real and next year will be repetiteur for the world premier of Brett Dean’s new Hamlet in the Glyndebourne Festival.
It was such a privilege to be part of this workshop and performance and a treat and incredible fun. We were rehearsed, there was a short interval during which we were plied with hot mulled wine and mince pies and then a performance, accompanied by a lovely brass ensemble.
After the event, it was tea in Covent Garden before heading back home.
The next participatory Insight I’m up for will be next April: a workshop, joining members of the Royal Opera Chorus, of choruses from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Meistersinger will be produced by the ROH between 11–31 March 2017 and stars the wonderful Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the role of Hans Sachs.